It relentlessly collects this information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It keeps this information in flimsy warehouses where anyone with time or ingenuity can find anything they want to know about us.
It pretends the information is secure, but only a blind fool believes this. It tells us that privacy is an old-fashioned, out-of-date concept. It is reassuring in its pervasiveness.
Then it sells the information to the highest bidder. And sometimes to any bidder at all.
And why does it do all this? For us. For the marketing and advertising industries.
There’s no reasonable way that this is a good development for a free society. There is no realistic vision of the future in which this will not lead to appalling mischief.
It’s time for us to say no. It’s time to put aside our petty self-interest, take a step back and see where this is leading. We need to stop tracking people and their behavior now. Right now.
Big Brother has arrived, and he’s us.
Bob Hoffman is CEO of Hoffman/Lewis. His blog is The Ad Contrarian and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.